I'm building an app in a hurry, and we're starting the process in InDesign. I won't go into the crazy technicalities that led to this need, but I need to flow text over two pages as if they were the same page. Here's a screenshot of what I mean:

enter image description here

Obviously I can do this just by stretching a text frame across the two pages - but when I try to flow text through the pages on a grander scale using a master page with that text box, the pre-existing margins interfere and act as unwanted text boxes. I can't find a way to remove them, or make them stretch across two pages in the same way the text frame can.

Has anyone got a solution, or is this going to be an arduous case of stretching a frame across every single spread in the document?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

  • You realize running text over the gutter is very bad design, right? Lines, and especially characters, will never align properly when printed.
    – Scott
    Oct 11, 2013 at 13:00
  • 2
    Hi Scott - as I said, I'm not printing anything, I'm building an app. The prototypes show perfect alignment, so this isn't bad design - for the framework I'm using this is actually a technical requirement. I'm assuming that despite InDesign's supposed "great support for devices" this just isn't possible?
    – Wilf
    Oct 11, 2013 at 13:45
  • I'm confused to be honest. An app wouldn't have a gutter or spreads so I don't understand the need for them in Indesign. If you want a double size spread in the app set the page size to the spread size. In any event, the best you can do with Indesign is to set facing pages, then the inside margin to zero.
    – Scott
    Oct 11, 2013 at 14:23
  • Sounds like a skeuomorphic design pattern
    – horatio
    Oct 11, 2013 at 15:04
  • Yup, Horatio's exactly right - the app needs spreads and margins because it has a "page turn" effect so that it feels in some way like a printed book - a bit like issuu.com. Think the solution has been posted now, but thanks for the advice.
    – Wilf
    Oct 11, 2013 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


First of all, for this bit:

...the pre-existing margins interfere and act as unwanted text boxes. I can't find a way to remove them

Sounds like Primary text frame was ticked when you created the document.

Normally, margins are just margins - innocent guidelines that don't get in the way. The Primary text frame tick box turns them into default text frames. Looks like it's ticked by default if you choose 'Digital publishing'.

As for the other problem, there's two parts. First, getting a text frame across each spread. It's easy, and it sounds like you might already have figured it out, but here's the steps anyway:

  • Create a 2-page spread master (page window > New Master)
  • Stretch the text box across it
  • When adding new pages, add them two at a time using this master
  • (the more obscure bit) To get at and use the text frame from the master page on each page, 'override' it (drag it from the master to the page) by selecting it while holding shift and cmd/ctrl. Otherwise it treats it as purely part of the background and won't let you select or edit it.

The harder part is getting them to all link together into one story (assuming you want to do this).

If you do need this, read up on the various auto flow options and see what works for your case. They're all a bit quirky, so the best approach depends on personal preference and the fine detail of your workflow. Might turn out to be easier to just link them manually.

  • one thing you can do is to set up two masters: A = normal spread, B = spread with text box across the spread.
    – horatio
    Oct 11, 2013 at 15:06

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